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Workbench Confessions

A couple of confessions – My workbench is ugly; I’m envious of all those beautiful benches out there!

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Not quite what you go to the confessional to admit, but for a woodworker it was tough. It’s been hidden away in my photos so let me introduce you. The bench is made up of one sheet of plywood cut in half and glued together creating a 24″ wide, 8′ long bench. The length is awesome although a few more inches of width would be nice. Given a makeover I would go to thirty or thirty two inches including a tray at the back.
A few years ago as I increased hand tool use, I began using a front vise and had to make several modifications. A 10″ wide board was added to the front along with doubling the leg width. Some cross bracing on the sides and the bench became very solid. My old vise stays on the side holding the strop for easy access. I made this bench as a teenager working with my father. It is a design from an old friend of his and has served well. Starting out, I certainly wouldn’t shy away from this bench. It’s cheap and works well.

But all of those other benches they sure have the looks!

Categories: other
  1. June 1, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Come on, you don’t want a bench that you can’t bear to use and get dirty, now do you? “Cheap” and “works well” works for me!

    • June 1, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Generally im content with my bench. Ultimately I think the challenge of a building bench is what attracts me. No danger of any bench soon, too many other projects. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Andrew
    June 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Looks similar to mine. Including the front face board. Mine likes to skid around the shop under loads from hand planing so I added about 150 lbs. of castle stone (left over from a yard reno a few years back) to the shelf. Mass works. I’ve been wanting to build a Roubo but just haven’t made the time for it yet. I like your “Moxon” joinery vise. Another project on my (ever-growing) hitlist.

    • June 1, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks for reading. I really like the Moxon vise. It brings dovetails up to just the right height. Like you I have also danced around the shop with my bench.

  3. June 2, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Have you had any problems with the hold fasts in the plywood top?

    • June 2, 2016 at 5:41 am

      There is a 2×4 screwed to the plywood through which all the holdfast holes are drilled.

  4. KENNETH HATCH
    June 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    As I’ve posted many times before, I’m still using my first workbench built some 30-40 years ago. It has been repurposed many times as other work benches have been added to the shop. Only the last bench build could be considered “pretty” all the rest have been cheap and quick. I’m not a fan of work benches that look more like furniture than a shop appliance.

    ken

  5. June 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Ugly is as ugly does…Or something like that 🙂

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